Farmers Market Supervisor
Wednesday Farmers Market Manager
Laura Avery has presided over the Santa Monica Farmers Market program since October, 1982, just over one year after the Wednesday market premiered on July 15, 1981. During her tenure, the farmers market program has grown to include four markets operating three days per week. Laura served two terms on the Direct Marketing Advisory Committee, and has been recognized for her contributions to the farmers market program by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors and by Los Angeles Magazine. In 1997, she assisted with the creation of the Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District farmers market salad bar, offering fresh market produce as an alternative to the traditional school lunch. Her farmers market report can be heard weekly on KCRW's (89.9 FM) "Good Food" radio program.
(310) 458-8712 x 6
Farmers Market Coordinator II
Sunday Farmers Market Manager, Volunteer and Internship Coordinator
A local Santa Monica resident, Jodi Low brings her passion for food, farming and community building as well as experience in event management to her work with the Santa Monica Farmers Markets. These passions started at an early age cooking and gardening with her family in Northern California. Her love for farming blossomed when she attended summer camp at Hidden Villa, a working farm, where she learned to care for farm animals and cultivate produce.
Jodi attended Sonoma State where she received a BA in Environmental Studies with an emphasis in restoration, politics and international studies. The class she enjoyed the most, however, was agroecology, and she could often be found in the college's small farm weeding and planting. Today she cultivates her own organic garden at Ocean View Farms, where she has been a member since 2001.
Jodi is responsible for management of the Sunday Main Street Farmers Market as well as graphic design, publicity and website design/maintenance for the Santa Monica Farmers Market department. Additionally, Jodi has been a member of the California Small Farm Conference Board since 2009 and serves as President for the Southern California Certified Farmers Market Grange in Los Angeles.
(310) 458-8712 x 5
Farmers Market Coordinator I
Saturday Pico Farmers Market Manager
Born in Mexico, Ted Galvan moved with his family to 22nd St. adjacent to Virginia Park in 1950. One of his first jobs in Santa Monica was at the Thrifty Mart, which was on the site of the current Pico Farmers Market at Virginia Park. He married his wife, Paz, in 1959 and together with his family he opened a series of restaurants called Hacienda Galvan, using their family recipes from their home state of Jalisco. The first one opened in Pacific Palisades in 1964, and eventually 10 restaurants were in operation. In 1978, Ted and his brothers sold the businesses and Ted bought Castillo’s Spanish Kitchen at the landmark Farmers Market at 3rd St. and Fairfax. He also reopened a Hacienda Galvan and operated both restaurants until 1990. Both locations are operating under different names today at booths #322 and #510. Ted's family also operates an award-winning salsa business called Mis Padres, which can be found at Whole Foods Markets. Ted manages the Pico Farmers Market, which opened in 1992, and has been assistant manager at the Wednesday market since 1995. He has overseen changes including the reconstruction of Virginia Park, and most recently the implementation of the traffic control plan at the Wednesday market, which has required a great deal of creativity. It was Ted who had the idea to use magnets to hold the temporary signs open. He is looking ahead to more challenges as the Pico Branch Library moves toward construction.
(310) 458-8712 x 4
Farmers Market Coordinator I
Saturday Downtown Farmers Market Manager
Darra Henigan grew up going to her local Farmers Market in Palo Alto, CA. She graduated from Pitzer College in Claremont, CA with a degree in Media Studies and Writing and a strong background in education, environmental studies and social justice. Her love of food developed during a semester abroad in Parma, Italy. Darra started with the Santa Monica Farmers Market in 2006, enthusiastically combining her teaching experience and her passion for food and social responsibility. You can often find her leading field trips at the Wednesday Farmers Market or in after school programs connecting children with delicious local produce and teaching them about where their food comes from. When she’s not at the Wednesday Market she is overseeing the educational, accounting, and volunteer programs. In her free time she enjoys traveling, cooking and designing jewelry. Darra also eagerly awaits the fleeting cherry season each and every year.
310-458-8712 x 2
Farmers Market Assistant
Education Program Coordinator
Rufiena Jones-Soro’s love for food began as a child watching her grandmothers prepare their versions of traditional soul food recipes during holiday seasons. While intrigued by the variations of ingredients and processes used to prepare the same dishes, Rufiena was most moved by the unifying element the food had, bringing friends and family together every year. In 2003, Rufiena graduated from Mills College with a degree in Media Studies and Sociology. Her studies expanded her interest in exploring cultures of the world through language, spirituality, art and cuisine. In 2006, her interest in cultural exploration grew into a commitment to cultural exchange when she traveled to Thailand as a Fulbright Fellow to teach English, and in exchange, experience the warmth and vibrance of Thai culture that one can taste in Thai cuisine. In 2005, Rufiena became a faithful Farmers Market attendee when she was wowed by the flavor of organic, locally-grown produce sold at farmers markets in Berkeley, CA. During the same year, she personally experienced the healing properties of a diet consisting mostly of these foods. She’s dedicated to advocating for healthier eating ever since. Rufiena has a unique combination of teaching, accounting and administrative experience, as well as a passion for delicious, healthy food. She is responsible for all accounts payable and market education programs. She also provides support in the areas of social media, marketing and is also a back-up for volunteer and intern coordination. She is ecstatic to be the newest member of the Santa Monica Farmers Market team.
310-458-8712 x 3
Farmers Market Set Up Team
The primary responsibility of a Laborer Trainees is to set up and take down the market each week. Tasks include driving a variety of City vehicles, lifting and moving bulky items such as canopies, tables and signs weighing up to 60 lbs., maintaining equipment, interacting with other city departments including Solid Waste and Support Services, and setting up signs on roadways. In addition, a laborer-trainee interacts with customers in the managers booth and at all work sites where their duties are performed, so customer service skills and an ability to communicate and interact with a wide range of people is of special importance.